Whitney Nash, Dean, School of Nursing
Whitney Nash, Dean, School of Nursing

Whitney Nash, PhD, has been named dean of the School of Nursing at the University of Louisville effective July 1, 2024. 

Nash is currently a professor and dean at Georgia Southern University’s Waters College of Health Professions. No stranger to UofL, Nash is a two-time alumna and has spent 17 years employed with the university. She earned a Master of Science in Nursing degree in 1997 and PhD in Nursing in 2010. From 1997 until 2022, she served as an instructor, assistant professor and associate professor at the School of Nursing. Nash also has held a number of leadership positions including: director of practice for international affairs, associate dean of practice and service, assistant vice president of inter-professional practice partnerships on the Health Sciences Center campus and as an executive team member of the Republic Bank Foundation Optimal Aging Clinic.

In 2005, Nash was hired by UofL as the founding director of the Kentucky Racing Health Services Center, a clinical practice that provides free care to backside workers in the thoroughbred horse racing industry. The clinic offers a full range of primary care services, including mental health. In 2011, Nash developed and implemented the School of Nursing and School of Dentistry advanced practice inter-professional education collaboration, which utilizes advanced practice nurse practitioners to guide students in obtaining consultations for medically compromised patients. Additionally, she founded UofL Care Partners, a nursing and dental clinic founded based on results of a needs assessment and in response to the lack of access to care for patients receiving dental care at the School of Dentistry.

She is a member of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties. She has received dozens of accolades and awards including recognition as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing in 2021, Fellow of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners in 2017 and was a finalist for Business First’s Health Care Hero in 2016.

“We are delighted to bring an accomplished educator and leader back to UofL,” said Provost Gerry Bradley. “Dr. Nash will lead an outstanding School of Nursing to new levels of excellence in the years ahead.”

Nash says becoming dean of the UofL School of Nursing has always been her dream job. Originally from southern Indiana, she considers the Louisville area home, and says she’s had the honor of watching several of her previous students become faculty members and colleagues.

The new nursing dean says her vision for the School of Nursing is “to refine and accelerate every mission area, but with an initial focus on the research mission. I want to help the school really define its areas of distinction.”

“Again and again, Louisville took a chance on me. I was in the second cohort for the master’s degree and the first cohort for my PhD in nursing, and I feel like a pioneer in that way,” Nash said. “When I was hired to start the Kentucky Racing Health services program, they took a chance on someone who had not done something at that level. It means a lot to me that they had faith in my ability, and it’s come full circle now.”